Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pathways to happiness.

Many times I've mentioned "the new science of pain". I written about how the brain changes with pain. It's been shown by imaging that imagined movements or seeing movements activate the same brain pathways as if actually doing the activity, "monkey see, monkey do". From this discovery mirror therapy was developed.

It's also known that if we think negatively about our pain (this is the worst pain ever), our brain changes in an unhelpful way, just as it changes in a beneficial way when we think positively about our pain (I can cope with this).

So scientists have discovered that you can change your brain by what you imagine not just by actions. You can benefit by practicing feeling happy. The left frontal cortex, known as the seat of happiness, will be activated. Just by practicing, or imagining feeling happy, you can create the pathways to happiness.

2 comments:

Mary Anne said...

Yes. I believe in imagination. I was doing agility with my dog before the RSD. After a year and 1/2 of "what now?" I decided to take my dog for a run out in the fields. Every time I imagined I was running with my dog and felt that cool breeze brush against my face. I did this almost everyday. Six months later I was able to walk further and without a cane. I was so inspired that I followed it with some range of motion exercises at home. My gait got better and better as I increased my range of motion in my foot. Therefore I am walking better and experiencing less pain which radiated through my upper leg and all the way up my back.

jeisea said...

Thanks May Anne for sharing your story.This is inspiring. I've been encouraging a friend to imagine movement she can no longer do. She feels this is helping and reduces her pain. There is much research supporting guided visual imagery and it's success with reducing pain. You have gone beyond pain relief to improving function.

I know this works. This is part one of a three step process which begins with guided visual imagery, goes on to limb laterality recognition and finally mirror visual feedback. There are posts about this here. Please ask if you ned help finding more about this.

Fantastic hearing from you. Thank you Mary Anne.

jeisea

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